Draft House founder Charlie McVeigh has given a spirited defence of his former investor, Luke Johnson, and insisted he should not be written off despite the damage the Patisserie Holdings saga has done to his reputation.

In an interview with MCA editor James Wallin at the Morning Advertiser’s MA500 event yesterday, McVeigh stressed how important Johnson had been in his career and countless others in the sector.

He said: “This is unprecedented case and not as simple as it has been portrayed.

“It would be a great shame if this was the end of one of the great careers in this space. I very much doubt it is. If ever there was a fighter, it’s Luke and woe betide anyone who writes him off at this stage. When he is able to, he will tell his side of the story and that will be part of his rehabilitation.

Summing up the former Draft House investor, Mcveigh said: “Luke speaks his mind and he’s passionate. Board meetings certainly weren’t a walk in the park. But, working with him for six or seven years was definitely transformational in the way I conducted business. The fact that board meetings could be intense meant you were always prepared and that’s never a bad thing.

“The immense experience he has shouldn’t be forgotten, nor should the jobs he created over many years.